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Old 10-08-2018, 09:42 AM   #1
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Has Anyone Tried Power Washing The Black Tank?

I'm getting pretty frustrated with my black tank sensors reading full when it is not. I tried chemical and organic cleaning with limited success and the hose-whirrly with none. I see that they make adjustable angle heads for power washer wands. I was thinking of using this device to provide a 90 degree spray from the vertical, spray in soap with the soap nozzle, let it sit and then power wash the tank walls with the most gentle nozzle to get the crap off the tank sidewalls.

Has anyone tried this? My power washer is a 2500 psi gas model. Do you think the tank could take the most diffuse nozzle?

Thanks in advance.

Jack
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Old 10-08-2018, 09:50 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F4Jock View Post
I'm getting pretty frustrated with my black tank sensors reading full when it is not. I tried chemical and organic cleaning with limited success and the hose-whirrly with none. I see that they make adjustable angle heads for power washer wands. I was thinking of using this device to provide a 90 degree spray from the vertical, spray in soap with the soap nozzle, let it sit and then power wash the tank walls with the most gentle nozzle to get the crap off the tank sidewalls.

Has anyone tried this? Do you think the tank could take it?

Thanks in advance.

Jack
I hate to tell you this, but even if your get the tank squeaky clean and the sensors working perfectly, down the road you will have the same problem; things hang up on the internal sensors.

Fortunately both the black and the gray tanks tell you when they're full; the burp is unmistakable.

Personally, I would be more worried about what the pressure washer would do to the not-very-robust sensors and potentially to the pipe connections inside the black tank than the minor annoyance of a non-working sensor.

I would be more inclined to fill the black tank full of water and add a box or two of Calgon and let it sit for a week or more, then drain and use the whirly.
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:28 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F4Jock View Post
I'm getting pretty frustrated with my black tank sensors reading full when it is not. I tried chemical and organic cleaning with limited success and the hose-whirrly with none. I see that they make adjustable angle heads for power washer wands. I was thinking of using this device to provide a 90 degree spray from the vertical, spray in soap with the soap nozzle, let it sit and then power wash the tank walls with the most gentle nozzle to get the crap off the tank sidewalls.

Has anyone tried this? My power washer is a 2500 psi gas model. Do you think the tank could take the most diffuse nozzle?

Thanks in advance.

Jack
Well Jack,
First off, you don't say what year/make/model coach you have which, might dictate how new your coach is and also, how new the tank is. You see, the newer the tanks (coach and everything in it) the better condition the plastic is that the tank is made of. And, if that's the case, even your 2,500 psi pressure washer won't do any harm. Primarily because, without seeing your tank, and your toilet drop entry to it, I'd bet that the nozzle is a fair distance from most walls of the tank. That means a diminished pressure that's actually reaching the tank walls. See what I'm getting at?

I'm not a motorhome construction expert but, in many, many of the coaches built in the last few years, don't have the intrusion type sensors. They are more of the "sonar" type. I used to know the brands and how they worked but, forgot all that stuff since I don't use it. But, our black tank will also get some false readings every now and then. I use that store-bought 24" long, plastic attachment for our garden hose. It's got the tip on it with all the holes in all the directions.

So far, each time we've had the false readings, that little gizmo has alleviated the false readings. We also have the built-in tank flush. It only worked once or twice at clearing the false readings and it finally failed to the point I can't get it flush anymore. Don't know what the heck is wrong with it. Don't matter anyways 'cause I use the gizmo and it always works.

But, not all toilet drops are directly above the black tank opening. Some are angled and it might be tough to get a stiff, wand or any other pvc type flush mechanism in there. You might need to create a flexible one like maybe made from a section of garden hose or any other hose and, attache a tip with multiple holes facing in all directions. Then, when the water is turned on, just twist the heck out of the part you're holding so that the water jets can get the most opportunity to cover the most square footage of the tank walls. Good luck.
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:35 AM   #4
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Get some Happy Camper. Put a good dose down the toilet then add water. Drive around, dump and flush. Best stuff I've ever used in 30 yrs of RV ownership.
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Old 10-08-2018, 12:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by F4Jock View Post
I'm getting pretty frustrated with my black tank sensors reading full when it is not.
Thanks in advance.

Jack
Yes the pretty light things are mostly sales gimmicks.

I know what the level in the black water tank is by shinning a flashlight down the hole while stepping on the foot valve. I have gone six weeks without dumping. I use no chemicals and do not have an odor problem.

My experience is that you will run out of fresh water before filling the tank.

When hooked up to water, I usually have a sewer connection too. In this case I drain when the tank is about 3/4th full.
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Old 10-08-2018, 12:23 PM   #6
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I have rinsed ours thoroughly at home and filled it and dumped it a couple of times 'til I get the gauge to read empty. The water was running clear. I added about 10 gallons of water with a healthy dose of borax and drove 100 miles to the park letting that slosh around inside. I dumped at the park, and what came out was nasty looking, so I suppose the soap cleaned quite a bit more than just rinsing.

At the park, the gauge read empty. But within hours of getting there it was 2/3 again.

So yeah. I suppose you could power wash it, steam clean it, whatever you want to do. But at least in my case, it doesn't last long enough to be worth the effort.
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Old 10-08-2018, 12:52 PM   #7
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pressure wash

One of my learning experiences. I did that and after a bit of time MT ST. Helens erupted out of the toilet and soaked me and the entire bathroom with some bad smelling brownish water. Was quite exciting. I laughed so hard I couldn't have felt dummer.
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Old 10-08-2018, 01:14 PM   #8
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I would not pressure wash any of the RV tanks. Not that it poses a problem but I just don't think you could get the nozzle directed where it needs to be at the sensors. As for damaging a sensor I highly doubt if that would happen. The thru the wall tank sensors are rotomolded into the tank and as such are a permanent part of the tank. The sensor diameter is around 1/4". Instead try a Camco RV Flexible swivel stik Item 40074. This has a rotating nozzle and connects to any garden hose. There was a youtube video where a guy tested several way to clean RV holding tanks. He built a holding tank from clear plastic so you can see what was going on during the various tests. I don't recall the YouTube description but if you watch it you'll see how most of these cleaning techniques just don't work. The only one that did any good was this Camco swivel stik. Good luck with your cleaning.
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Old 10-08-2018, 02:16 PM   #9
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last week when we had the gray tank issue, i removed the flusher and then attached a 90 degree elbow with a high pressure nozzle that looks like a small funnel
i then stuck it in the tank to use hose pressure to squirt the sides and blow off the gunk. my sensors are working better than new right now.

this will work on your black tank to i believe
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Old 10-08-2018, 02:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F4Jock View Post
I'm getting pretty frustrated with my black tank sensors reading full when it is not. I tried chemical and organic cleaning with limited success and the hose-whirrly with none. I see that they make adjustable angle heads for power washer wands. I was thinking of using this device to provide a 90 degree spray from the vertical, spray in soap with the soap nozzle, let it sit and then power wash the tank walls with the most gentle nozzle to get the crap off the tank sidewalls.

Has anyone tried this? My power washer is a 2500 psi gas model. Do you think the tank could take the most diffuse nozzle?

Thanks in advance.

Jack
Before power washing your tank, check one thing as that could happen to you, although a slightly difference in my case -

After getting my coach, the fresh tank 1/4 sensor would only light up when the tank was full. Other times 1/4 was always skipped. I had no way to know whether I had water of 0 or 1/4 tank; once lower than 1/2, the only sensor lit up was 0.

Over a year I tried everything I could think about, finally I took the panel off and looked into the sensors. Geez, the 1/4 was connected to full! No wonder either it showed full or nothing. I rerouted the wires and issue was resolved.

Look into it who knows what is there... Good luck!
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Old 10-08-2018, 03:09 PM   #11
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before you power wash open your mouth real wide so nothing hits you in the face
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Old 10-08-2018, 03:15 PM   #12
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I gave up on our tank level monitors and just leave both valve's open when we have FHU's, which is most of the time. No issues in last 6 years of full timing.
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Old 10-08-2018, 04:41 PM   #13
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There are many rv tank flushing companies out there some operating since 2003. Just google: Rv tank hydro-cleaning / hydro-jetting. Good Luck!
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Old 10-08-2018, 04:51 PM   #14
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I think there is an attachment designed to do that. Forgot where I saw it but its flexible and had a spray that goes to the side. Maybe google it?
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